What will “The After” look like?

Been thinking a lot about what things will be like post-pandemic, especially with my second shot just next week.

I don’t think things will ever fully look like they did before – especially with reports that herd immunity through vaccination may not be possible. (I was just gutted to read that – I just do not understand it.)

I think there are going to be more than a few strained relationships (if there aren’t already) – there are going to be a lot of situations where folks decide not to reconnect with people who spent the pandemic showing their asses. I am grateful that in my circle of friends, folks have done their best to minimize risk and have been very excited to be vaccinated.

I think masking up will continue to be a thing, especially on public transport. And the number of allergy sufferers I’ve seen on Twitter going, “Holy shit, this is AWESOME” with regards to their masks this spring…well, I definitely think they’re going to stick around forever for those folks. (Why didn’t we think of this before? I know SO many people who are miserable every spring.) Also, they’re nice in the winter for keeping your face warm.

As for myself, I’ll be dropping from double masking to single – and will probably be keeping that up for the foreseeable future when I’m indoors or crowded places until I see our vaccination rates max out and our case counts drop significantly. (Our county is averaging 76 cases a day – I want to see that well under our 2020 summer lows, which was 39 cases a day.) Probably gonna continue it forever on the Metro or if I ever set foot in an airport again.

Also, the hand wipes in my car and purse are definitely permanent, and I have full justification for my fancy soap habit.

I want to see labor keep pushing back against shitty employers who are pissed off that people don’t want to work for crap wages in umsafe conditions. Y’all love that free market, and this is the free market in action. Suck it up, buttercup.

Lets do better for restaurant and retail and delivery workers – hell, anyone who can’t work remotely. They kept our asses fed and medicated and supplied with stuff over the past year – they deserve good pay and safe working conditions. We know damn good and well that a McD’s double cheeseburger and fries won’t suddenly become unaffordable if the folks in the store are making a living wage.

I also want to keep pushing back on the idea that folks in white collar jobs all have to be in an office to contribute. I realize not every job can be done remotely, but a LOT of them can, and we have seen over the last year that working at home can work just fine – even with the added pressures of kids at home, too. (Which will be lifted when school starts again. Seriously management, let folks work from home.)

As much as the government wants to get to a point where they can pretend this never happened – we have to push them to do some permanent things that will help people and make life just a little easier. It’s not that they haven’t done anything, but it’s pretty much all been temporary. We all deserve better.

I’m kinda worried about the fall, though. With kids going back to school in person, and at that point, under 12s will still be unvaccinated – we’re going to have to keep a sharp eye out for outbreaks in schools. Kids are great, but they’re also little disease vectors, and Covid can mess them up, and I don’t want that for any family.

But maybe, just maybe – the “after” can be better than before.

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